Hitech to run Superleague Formula Prototype development

26.02.2008: Hitech to run Superleague Formula Prototype development

Reigning British Formula 3 champions Hitech Racing have been entrusted with role of developing the new Superleague Formula car – a task that kicks off this week in the UK.

Built by Elan Motorsport Technologies in the US, the new car will be powered by a 750 horsepower, V-12 engine designed and built by Menard Competition Technologies in the UK.

After successful dyno testing last week, the V-12 has been fitted to the Superleague Formula chassis ready for its first run tomorrow.

The car will conduct straight line testing this week before hitting the track for the first time at Donington Park next week.

Formed in 2003 by experience Formula 3 team manager David Hayle, Hitech’s past driver roster has included Renault F1 test driver Lucas Di Grassi and Estonian Marko Asmer – the newly appointed BMW F1 test driver who earned the team’s first British F3 championship last year.

"I have been talking with Robin Webb at Superleague Formula over the past couple of years and we were originally discussing the possibility of running a team in the series – that evolved into the idea of overseeing the test programme for the car." Hayle said.

"The Superleague Formula car looks fantastic. Everyone involved in the project have done a really good job and I am very impressed with the entire package. The design of the car has been very well thought through by Elan and it is all coming together quite well.

"We are really looking forward to the Superleague Formula development programme – it is a great extension of the work we undertake in Formula 3 where we run wind tunnel programmes, simulations, transmission development and tyre development programmes.

"It is a different challenge for us because we are putting together a kit of parts which is going remain for the entire championship. Our goal is to iron out any possible bugs, develop a strong base set up and ensure excellent reliability."

The Superleague Formula prototype will undertake six, three day tests in southern Europe over the next four months before the final 20 cars are assembled at Elan’s UK base at Van Dieman Motorsports in Norfolk.

Superleague Formula will feature 20 cars on the grid bearing the colours of the world’s leading football clubs. Already, European clubs AC Milan, Olympiacos, FC Porto, PSV Eindhoven, Borussia Dortmund, RSC Anderlecht, FC Basel, Galatasaray and Sevilla FC have joined the championship as well as Brazilian heavyweights, Flamengo and Corinthians.

Hayle is looking forward to the on-track debut of the Superleague Formula car, a machine that he believes drivers are going to find both challenging and rewarding.

"The Superleague Formula car is going to be a beast to drive – a huge challenge to even the best drivers," Hayle said.

"There is a lot of horsepower, no traction control and no real driver aids – it will place a huge emphasis on the skill level of the drivers. It has a very wide track, slick tyres – the teams will have to work very hard on mechanical grip as this is a very big car.

"Elan have done their homework on what is required mechanically and aerodynamically to provide a good stable package."

A passionate football fan, Hayle is a Manchester United supporter and also a season-ticket holder for his local side, Northampton Town.

"Everyone is waiting in anticipation as to how this will turn out, a lot of thought and planning has gone into this championship and I think once things kick off it is going to be huge – it will capture the imagination of a lot of people," Hayle said.

"It is combining two of the biggest sport in the world. Getting that passion from the football crowd into a motorsport environment will be excellent."

- Paul Ryan-

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/superleague-formula-hitech-prototype-development-racing-david-hayle-menard-competition---33347.html

26.02.2008 / MaP

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